How to Stop Hating Other Women

Are you the kind of gal who thinks she only feels truly comfortable in the company of men? Do you feel that other women are catty, mean spirited, competitive or air-headed even, and that you have nothing in common with any of them?

Whether you have feelings of apathy, disdain or you truly despise other women, hating your fellow gender is simply no good––it'll cut off many opportunities for good, understanding friendships and for healthy social relations in general. If you've been investing a lot of time avoiding gal pals, making do with men alone as friends and shooting down the foibles of your own gender, then it's time to take a break and readjust. Instead of putting all your energy into shooting daggers at other women, learning to accept other women will open up new insights for you and maybe you'll even add a woman or two to your friend list.


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    Consider the reasons that might be causing you to push other women away. Perhaps you grew up in a household of domineering or difficult female relatives who put you off wanting to be around women for all time. Or perhaps you had a great female friend at school who suddenly stopped talking to you, spread rumors about you and broke your heart. Whatever traumatic past experiences have led you to mistrust all women, taking these early experiences and applying it generally will continue to cause you to miss out! Not all women are like the poor female role models of your past. Here is a range of possible reasons as to why you might be pushing other women away from you:
    • Bullying experiences in your early years. Were you teased or bullied by other girls when you were little? Or did a female family member berate or intimidate you? Bullying is extremely serious and can have devastating effects on a developing personality.
    • Perceiving female managers or coworkers as "difficult" or as betraying you. Have you worked with mean spirited, tough-hearted or difficult female coworkers or managers? Some women at work can fall foul of overdoing the "keeping-up-with-male" traits and treat other women more harshly than they do their male counterparts. Have you felt that some women at work have targeted you in this way and caused you to think they were out to make your life miserable? "Being under the thumb” of authority can be a painful experience, especially if your boss or coworker should be on your side and you feel that they're betraying your gender connection. On the other hand, are you stuck in a pattern of only liking male bosses or coworkers because you can use your appearance and flirty ways to get them on side? Be honest; this isn't a reflection of you being a bad person, it's just an unhelpful habit that you might have failed to outgrow since the time of being "daddy's little girl".
    • Having had a problematic childhood. It's probable that almost everyone can list one or two irritating, embarrassing or painful experience with their mother, grandmother or a great old aunt. However, if your childhood was filled with these types of experiences (such as an overbearing or narcissistic mom), you may have developed a complex against other women as a result. Sometimes the manner in which males in your family have treated women might cause you to assume the worst of other women; or perhaps you were an only child or there were no sons in the family, and you were a "substitute" son and don't really know how to connect with other females as a result. Any such reasons can be complex and should be discussed with a mental health professional, but be aware that they may be causing you to keep women at a distance.
    • You feel that men don't ask the hard questions of you that women do. Perhaps you're feeling really vulnerable due to depression, an illness or you're trying to achieve in a job that is still known as a mostly male domain. You might be afraid that other women will automatically see through your attempts to cope, spot your weaknesses and get right at what is hurting you inside. You can't afford to show weakness or to be mollycoddled like this, so you tend to totally avoid it.
    • Envy. The big one. You are simply envious of other women in your environs, whether because of their status, beauty, education, popularity, intellectual skills, dating abilities, powerful positions, motherhood, whatever. Possibly you're in a fairly closed social environment and don't move beyond that circle much, so you're perceiving one "type" of woman a lot. And in this case, your insecurity is driving your envy and cutting you off from female friendships because you don't trust any of the women in this tight circle. Or, you might be feeling rebellious, angry or frustrated about the choices other women have made and yet secretly wish you'd made them too, such as early motherhood, staying-at-home or juggling children and a career, etc.
    • Fear of losing your male partner. Some women hate other women because of a huge sense of insecurity that other women will steal away your man. This can stem from bad past experiences or it can stem from the fact that your current partner isn't to be trusted for some reason (in which case, it's time to rethink the relationship rather than blaming all women).
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    Consider that you might be afraid of revealing too much in the presence of women and feeling vulnerable as a result. By being "one of the boys", you get to distance yourself from female topics all the time and perhaps you feel more powerful, less inclined to vulnerability. However, while you might feel relieved about not being too "touchy-feely", by not wanting to get too close to other women who could share all your secrets and be open about feelings, it's probable that much of the things that you're not sharing are simply getting bottled up inside and may well build up to emotional troubles later. This has significant potential consequences for the depth of any friendship with males too because you may expect too much from them when you do open up and talk about feelings or reveal emotions, areas where men tend to take a different approach from women and can feel uncomfortable when a woman raises them.
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    Know what you're missing out on by pushing women away. You miss out on a great deal by not including other women in your life, including having friends and confidantes who can really grasp the things you're experiencing because you're a female and they are too (things such as PMT, menopause, having babies, etc.). Moreover, you miss out on "girl power", that amazing experience in which females get together to bond as women and leave all the male domains truly behind and just "hang out", "let it all out" and confess to the craziest, zaniest and deepest desires that you'd only ever want another woman to hear because she knows just where you're coming from.
    • When you start becoming more and more like your mother, only your female friends will truly understand and know how to commiserate. And you can only have the "My mother messed me up" talk with other women; most men just don't diss moms, not even for casual banter.
    • There will be losses, down times and great victories in your life that you will want to share with women because they will have an unspoken understanding of what you're experiencing or going through without you having to explain, apologize or tiptoe around anything.
    • There is a well of strength to draw on amid your sisters. No matter how much you love the man/men in your life, women are an important part of revitalizing your energies and strength too.
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    Think about the qualities you appreciate in the male friends you've surrounded yourself with and how these could translate into the same qualities you might find in a woman. Not all women are catty meanies like the ones you may see on reality TV or perhaps those in your current circle or acquaintances. And as with any generalization, you're blinded by painting all women in the same light, yet women have numerous qualities and personalities; it's not helpful to lump all women together because not all women are the same––after all, clearly you find yourself different enough. And even the women you perceive as catty or snooty have soft underbellies that perseverance in friendship or tactful honesty can sometimes uncover. Qualities that you may be admiring in a man are equally discoverable in women, such as:
    • Truthfulness. If one reason that you don’t like other women is because you were burned by a woman who was either two-faced or who told you one thing but meant something else, then you may see male friends are more frank. Typically, it is said that guys like to “tell it like it is” and don’t want to play games with their buds––a quality you may hold near and dear. Yet, most women are truthful too and indeed, they may be more likely to tell you that you're putting on a bit too much weight, working too many hours or that your husband has been seen with another woman, than a male friend would. Remember that he still sees you as a woman and he may feel embarrassed or not want to hurt your feelings. On the other hand, a woman may be more likely to want to make sure that you're aware of the issues to prevent further hurt.
    • Loyalty. Perhaps you think that guys are more likely to stick with one another through thick and thin, preferring their mates over romantic interests. Yet, if you think that male friendship and bonding is deeper than that between women, this leaves you in a precarious friendship given that you are the woman befriending males, so can you really be sure that your male friends will continue treating you like "one of the boys"? Could it be that they'd drop the friendship with you if push came to shove, just because you're a woman? While it may be impossible to know, female friendships tend to endure just as strongly as male friendships. They may wax and wane through times of marriage and child-raising but many a woman knows she can phone or email a female friend and pick up where they last left off.
    • Respect. Of course, not everyone has respect for each other, whatever their gender; however, when guys are with their friends, they usually try to respect the other dude and not find ways to dig at each other’s weaknesses. In the case of women, there are instances of cattiness, social status pulling and putting down other women in unkind ways. But to presume that these generalizations about men and women hold for all men and women is to do everyone a disservice. Insecure men do try to drag down other men, while strong women would never dream of putting down another woman. People are individuals, so avoid putting them into stereotypical types and take them as you find them instead, whatever their gender.
    • Trust. Even though it's (another) a generalization, you may feel that you can tell a guy a secret, ask him to keep it secret and it will most likely stay locked in the vault. On the other hand, perhaps you worry that women are known for being gossipy with confidential information, which may be a quality you despise the most. Obviously, it's not this simple and yet the answer is simple; don't distrust all women and don't think think all men are trustworthy, or you're going to be sorely hurt by the man who does spread the rumors about you or who is leakier than a punctured air mattress. Learn to spot the gossip queen or king and the backstabbing artiste and steer clear of them, whatever their gender––they're usually obvious.
      • By all means root out the gossip queen and the queen bee (or queen has-been) from your social circle if you can't handle them. Even better if you learn how to handle them, but leaving them behind or ignoring them works just as well. Just don't assume all women behave this way. Most women are as uncomfortable and embarrassed as you in the presence of rumor-mongering women and mudslingers, and the answer is to simply give such women wide berth.
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    Think about calming the hatred or condescension you feel toward women to bring peace and balance back to your life. Perhaps you don’t want to run out and join a Bunco group or the Garden Club but you can certainly quell the disdain you have for other women––for your sake. Hating to be around women cuts you off from many activities, many of which could bring you respite from the other experiences in your life, such as sports, hobby activities and outings where women are predominantly involved. Here are some ways to calm your hate and restore some balance:
    • Consider what hating other women does to your state of mind. Conjuring up hatred takes a lot of energy, which could be taking away from activities or efforts you should be putting forth in your life.
    • When you feel annoyed or irritated with another women, do breathing exercises and mental visualization. If you feel your irritation coming on, don’t let it take you to the next level. Breathe deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. If possible, close your eyes and try to visualize a place where you feel peaceful and calm.
    • Explore the possibility of trying therapy. While therapy may not be for everyone, it can be an instrumental tool if you’ve been a victim of bullying or abuse or your thinking is just all messed up. Your hatred for women may possibly be a symptom of a larger personal issue, in which case you owe it yourself to seek healing.
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    Deal with your self-esteem issues if you really are just jealous or insecure. Unfortunately, if you have low self-esteem, you may be constantly comparing yourself to other women, which may be feeding the fire of hatred. Moreover, if you're insecure because you think that your current male partner has a wandering eye, you may be terrified of every woman who crosses his path. Neither of these ways is a good way to be. Instead, it's time to seize back your self-esteem and shore up your sense of personal well-being, with or without a man in your life.
    • Try to keep in mind that it’s not a competition and if anyone is keeping score, it’s you. Explore how you would feel if you didn't constantly compare yourself to other women and could just appreciate your similarities and differences.
    • If you hate women because you're scared they'll steal your male partner, decide where this insecurity comes from. If it's from within you, seek therapy or work through the insecurities using online help or bibliotherapy. It might also help to tell yourself that other women are not interested in your partner and that should anything of the sort ever happen, then it's his loss, not yours and that you're strong enough to cope. If your insecurity is because your male partner truly isn't to be trusted going by the known facts, then reconsider staying with him. There are plenty of men who won't wander.
    • Practice letting go whenever your male partner talks to other women, even flirty ones. Take deep breaths and simply let things be. You might also find it helps to talk to him about your fears, so that he can understand how his behavior might cause you to feel; be sure to stress that you trust him and that this is something you're working to overcome. However, be careful not to crowd him out or make him feel that he can't interact with other women, or he may get too frustrated with your jealousy.
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    Consider befriending a woman. One way to push beyond your hatred of other women is to try to forge a healthy relationship with another woman at some point in the near future. If you’ve identified the reason why you have chosen to hate other women and you're actively working through the underlying issues, allow yourself the opportunity to see if having a friendship with another woman might work for you.
    • Find a woman who shares your interests and tastes. One of the best ways to strike up a friendship is to find common ground. Trying to become friends with one of your child’s friend’s parents is not the best way to make new friends because the only commonality is that your children are friends––they get into a fight or the other child does something you don’t like and you are back at square one. Meet people through your love of yoga, painting or even through work.
    • Go slowly. You don’t want to start out as BFFs; in fact, that's an unrealistic expectation to hold and it's probably doomed to failure if you push too hard the other way. If the other woman comes on too strong, you may want to reconsider the friendship or at least tell her that it's nice to know her but that you need more time before considering her to be a good friend. Have coffee or go to the gym together every once in a while; maybe seeing movie or shopping together is a good start.
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    Stay positive. If you feel yourself falling back into old ways, wanting to run back and hide with the guys, or if any new female friendship goes south, try to keep in mind that this is a single instance––not all friendships with women are the same. Moreover, bear in mind that you're likely to be still carrying some odd emotional baggage that other women aren't going to find familiar.
    • Give compliments. Do the opposite of what scares you––tell that other woman you think she is beautiful, smart, amazing, talented, etc., rather than internally berating yourself for not matching up to her. She will be pleased to know you think so and she will see good in you, and you will see good in you too. The more that women recognize the good in each other, the more support women give one another, the less temptation there will be to descend into the gossip, condescension and hating that you're likely worried about. Realize that while it's easy to cut down another woman, in doing so you make the world less hospitable for all women; join forces instead and help to make things better for all women.
    • If your new female friend starts to do something that upsets you, such as gossiping or giving you the silent treatment, nip it in the bud. Say something like: "I really don’t like to talk about people behind their backs" or "I'd rather you told me straight what is wrong instead of giving me the cold shoulder; I can deal with talking it through but I'm not going to stick around to be ignored." After all, you've spent a lot of time with the guys, so use their lines to put a stop to things you think don't show womankind in a good light!
    • Avoid pinning all your hopes on a single friendship. Get out and befriend many women from all walks of life, to broaden your perspective and to help you to click with different personalities.
    • Ultimately, approach all relationships in life by following The Golden Rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated. Gender simply doesn't come into that equation!


  • Teach the girls in your life to care for other girls, so that they grow up to embrace womanhood and other women in their lives. Give them female mentors to look up to and in the process, learn yourself about the amazing things women have done in this world.
  • If another woman tells you something about a male in your life who is betraying you or doing something to bring you down, by all means be cautious but at the same time, don't shoot the messenger. The woman may very well be trying to help you out, not sabotage you.
  • Try to remember that not all woman represent a bad experience you may have had in your past or something you are currently confronting.
  • Before you get ready to judge or give another woman the “stink eye” take a deep breath and try to picture her as a guy.


  • If you hate women because you see yourself as righteous while considering that other women are trashy or sinful, remember that it's not your place to judge other women. Practice compassion and acceptance and stop perceiving yourself as the only paragon of virtue. Everyone has flaws and so too do you.
  • Generalizations sink people and make your world shrink. "All men this, all women that" is lazy talk. Don't fall into the trap of thinking or talking that way; it is a sign of stunted growth.
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it fades. Hating other women because of their appearance is pointless and shallow and it tends to accompany self-body hatred that needs to be worked through personally, not vicariously by putting down others.
  • Get professional help if you experienced abuse from another woman and this continues to infect your outlook on life.
  • Being part of a minority or select group can cause some women to hate other women because of mistaken beliefs that one "type" of woman is letting down "other" types of women within the minority or group. This is part of the divide-and-conquer mentality that can rip apart solidarity, so don't let this happen to your thinking.
  • Be careful not to create the situation you fear. If you accuse your male friend or partner of preferring other women over you, you can bring about a situation where they'll take your advice and leave you behind to spend more time with that woman. In which case, a self-confirming prophecy will have just played out. Simply don't even go there!

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